Committee call: Time to clean up government grants

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Better rules surrounding tens of billions of dollars in Commonwealth grants are needed to prevent repeats of the Morrison government’s “industrial scale rorting”,  Parliament’s audit committee has recommended.

After examining multiple independent audits, several controversial programs, grant hubs and the existing framework, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit determined “the letter and the spirit of rules were routinely disregarded by ministers and officials”.

On Thursday, it called for a new approach that binds grant decision makers to Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines (CGRGs). The rules should also be amended to be clearer and make a competitive merit based process the default.

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